The Best Jazz Dance Competition Music

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


If you’re looking for the best jazz dance competition music, look no further! We’ve got a great selection of tunes that will get your feet moving.


Jazz dance is a performance dance that originated in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in African American communities in the United States. It was originally a fusion of West African and European dances, and later developed into a unique American form that incorporated elements from tap, ballet, and other styles.

Today, jazz dance is performed worldwide and is enjoyed by people of all ages. It remains popular in the United States, especially in African American communities. Jazz dance has also been influential in the development of other styles, such as hip hop, tap, and contemporary dance.

There are many different types of jazz dance, each with its own unique style and history. Some popular types of jazz dance include:

· Charleston – A fast-paced dance originating from the 1920s that is often performed to ragtime or big band music.

· Lindy Hop – A partner dance that originated in the 1930s and was popularized by African American dancers in New York City.

· Jive – A Partner dancing originated in the 1940s that is closely related to swing dancing.

· Tap – A style of jazz dance that combines elements of both percussivetap dancing and rhythmical stomping.

The Different Types of Jazz Dance Competition Music

Jazz dance competitions are becoming increasingly popular, and with good reason! They provide a great opportunity for dancers to show off their skills and hard work in a fun and competitive environment. But what kind of music should you use for your routine?

Up-tempo Songs

There are many types of jazz dance competition music to choose from. You can find everything from classic Jazz standards to contemporary hits. The type of music you select will depend on your dancers’ level of skills and experience, as well as your own personal preferences.

Some of the most popular up-tempo songs for Jazz dance competitions include:

• “All That Jazz” by Chicago
• “Puttin’ On The Ritz” by Fred Astaire
• “Minnie The Moocher” by Cab Calloway
• “I Wanna Be Like You” by Louis Armstrong
• “Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen” by The Andrews Sisters
• “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” by The Andrews Sisters
• “In The Mood” by Glenn Miller


Ballads are a slower type of jazz dance competition music, usually in 3/4 or 4/4 time. They often have a feeling of nostalgia or wistfulness about them. Some well-known examples of ballads are “Over the Rainbow” and “Danny Boy.”

Character Songs

Character songs, or charleston songs, are classic ragtime tunes from the 1920s. These are fast-paced and upbeat, making them perfect for competition pieces. Many charleston songs were popularized by African American artists such as Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald. Some well-known examples include “Puttin’ on the Ritz” and “Ain’t Misbehavin’.”

How to Choose the Right Jazz Dance Competition Music

Jazz dancing is a fun and energetic style of dance that is perfect for competitions. When choosing music for your routine, you want to make sure that it is upbeat and will showcase your dancers’ strengths. Here are some tips for choosing the right jazz dance competition music.

Consider the Age Group of the Dancers

One important factor to consider when choosing jazz dance competition music is the age group of the dancers. There are specific divisions for different age groups in competitions, so you want to make sure the music you choose is appropriate. For example, if you are choreographing a routine for a team of 14-year-olds, you wouldn’t want to use music with explicit lyrics.

In addition to age appropriateness, you also want to make sure the music you choose is at an appropriate difficulty level for the dancers. If you are choreographing a routine for a group of beginner dancers, you wouldn’t want to use music that is too fast or too challenging.

Consider the Skill Level of the Dancers

One important factor to consider when choosing music for a jazz dance competition is the skill level of the dancers. If the competition is for beginner dancers, then you will want to choose music that is slower and has simpler choreography. If the competition is for more advanced dancers, then you can choose music that is faster and has more complicated choreography. You should also make sure that the music you choose is appropriate for the age group of the dancers.

Consider the Type of Dance

The first thing you need to do when choosing jazz dance competition music is to decide on the jazz dance style you will be performing. The most popular types of jazz dances are:

· Classical Jazz – a style that emphasizes on the origins of jazz, characterized by big band era music, poetic movements, and theatrical gestures.

· Modern Jazz – often performed to contemporary pop songs, this style is characterized by sharp and percussive movements;Can be subdivided into lyrical, hard-hitting or funky styles.

· Broadway Jazz – a theatrical style that is characterized by strong storytelling and characters;Set to musical theatre songs from both classic and contemporary Broadway musicals.

Once you have decided on the style of jazz dance you will be performing, you can start narrowing down your song choices. If you are unsure about what kind of music to choose, seek out advice from your dance teacher or choreographer. They will be able to help guide you in the right direction.


In conclusion, the best jazz dance competition music is a matter of personal preference. There are many different types of jazz music, and each has its own unique sound and feel. Some dancers prefer the classic sounds of Duke Ellington or Miles Davis, while others prefer the more contemporary sounds of artists like Herbie Hancock or Chick Corea. No matter what your preference, there is sure to be a jazz dance competition song that will suit your needs.

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